(WMBF) - Our sister station in Columbia, WIS-TV, went back to the scene of a crime that shocked the world 20 years ago. A crime at John D. Long Lake in Union County, where a young mother named Susan Smith made a decision that no one expected she would.
Smith claimed she'd been a victim of a carjacking and was forced out of her car by a gunman who sped away into the night with her toddlers – Michael and Alex – still inside the car. Soon after that, a search started with the nation watching and waiting and days of tension marked by Smith's tearful pleas.
But there was something wrong.
"There was no question about it," said Pete Logan, a Smith case investigator. "She was putting on a good show, but it didn't look sincere."
As investigators dug into the details, Smith's story started to unravel. And soon, the deeply troubled 23-year-old cracked.
"When the sheriff confronted her with that, she broke down, hit the floor, started crying and confessed to what she did with the kids," Logan said.
To view complete coverage of this story, including maps, timelines, and raw video from the investigation, click or tap here: